Close to 300 Muslim students armed with iron bars and sticks attacked a Christian boys' school in northern Pakistan, reportedly in retaliation to French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's controversial drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The attack left four Christians injured.
"It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. Christians condemn the blasphemous cartoons. It is a shame that even after 67 years since the birth of Pakistan, Christians have not yet been considered Pakistani citizens, but are seen as 'Western allies,'" Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement, told Fides News Agency.
The attack occurred on Panel High School in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Muslim students apparently were able to jump over the outer walls of the school and open the gates before attacking the Christians. more >>
A legal battle is underway in Pakistan for the three young children of Shama and Shahzad Masih, the Christian couple who were burned alive by Muslim radicals in November.
Fides News Agency identified the children as 6–year-old Saman, 4-year-old Sania, and 18-month-old Poonam. While the children are living with their maternal grandfather, there are five different applications that have been lodged at the Court of Lahore demanding custody.
Those applying to take the children are Mukhtar Masih, the grandfather; maternal uncle Yasin Masih; paternal uncle Iqbal Masih; the Legal Evangelical Association Development organization led by Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill; as well as the nonprofit Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. more >>
President Barack Obama said that those who believe he is not a Christian do not know him, but even if he were not a Christian, there would be nothing wrong with that. Obama made the remarks in a speech in New Delhi, where he called on India to do more to safeguard religious freedom.
"In our lives, Michelle [Obama] and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. Still, as you may know, my faith has at times been questioned — by people who don't know me — or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," Obama said, according to ABC News.
"Every person has the right to practice their faith how they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear." more >>
The leader of Pakistani politico-religious party Jamaat-e Islami is claiming that the Western "extremist standpoint" on the freedom of news organizations to publish "blasphemous caricatures" of Islam's prophet Muhammad will ultimately lead to World War III.
In addressing the thousands in attendance at a Friday protest over the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which publicized cartoons portraying Muhammad, the influential chief of the Jamaat-e Islami party, Sirajul Haq, demanded that the United Nations make laws designed to prevent the media and others from mocking religious personalities.
Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee has been accused by City Harvest Church's former investment manager of lying about his control over music management firm Xtron, as the high-profile cases concerning the misuse of millions of church funds resumed on Monday.
"The only reason I broke away was that the story being cooked up was not the truth. Why is so much responsibility being placed on the investment manager? I'm not going to be united with a team that chooses the most convenient way to defend themselves," Chew Eng Han said about his decision to quit the church in 2013.
The World Evangelical Alliance, which represents more than 600 million evangelicals around the globe, has announced the appointment of Bishop Efraim Tendero, currently the National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, as its next Secretary General.
WEA's International Council made the decision by unanimous vote Friday, and announced that Bishop Tendero will begin his five-year tenure on March 1.
"I am humbled by the trust that is given to me to be the leader of Evangelicals around the world," Tendero said in a statement released by WEA. "This is an enormous task and I put my whole trust and confidence in the Almighty God who called me into this ministry, believing that He will provide the wisdom, favor, and grace needed in carrying out this solemn responsibility." more >>